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Editor's Choice: 7 Surreal Places In Quebec You Have To See At Least Once In Your Life

Beloeil & Mont Saint-Hilaire

Distance from Montreal: 40 minutes

Why You Need To Go: These twin suburbs in Montérégie are a great day-trip destination.

Mont Saint-Hilaire's Gault Reserve offers a number of hiking trails across the eponymous mountain, as well as some sweeping views of the Saint Lawrence River valley.

(As of the time of writing, online reservations are mandatory for the Gault Reserve.)

Across the Richelieu River in Beloeil, visitors can gaze upon the mountain while dining at a terrasse.

Île d'Orléans

Distance from Montreal: Three hours

Why You Need To Go: The island on the river near Quebec City is famous for its colonial villages, orchards, artist shops and views of the surrounding landscape.

The scenic Chemin Royal, which circles the island, takes about an hour to drive non-stop, but there are plenty of irresistible adventure opportunities along the way, like the Seigneurie de l’Île d’Orléans, which is scheduled to open in mid-June.

Nicolet Boardwalk

Distance from Montreal: Two hours

When: As of the time of writing, the boardwalk is only open on weekdays.

Address: Parc écomaritime de l'Anse-du-Port, chemin du fleuve O. Nicolet, QC

Why You Need To Go: The 710-metre boardwalk in Nicolet's Parc écomaritime de l'Anse-du-Port is an easy walk with a big payoff.

It ends at a 12.3-metre lookout tower at the shore of the river.

The park has other trails and picnic spots too, according to the Nicolet municipal website.

Estrie Wine Trail

Distance from Montreal: Roughly 50 minutes to one hour and 20 minutes, depending on your starting point

Why You Need To Go: La route des vins in the MRC of Brome-Missisquoi in the Eastern Townships includes four different scenic routes passing a total of 20 vineyards and multiple restaurants, according to its website.

Coaticook

Distance from Montreal: Two hours (to the town centre)

Why You Need To Go: This little tourist destination has a lot going for it, including the Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook with its 169-metre-long suspended footbridge and the enchanted Foresta Lumina light installation.

Not to mention that Coaticook is home to the famous Laiterie de Coaticook ice cream shop.

Parc national des Îles-de-Boucherville

Distance from Montreal: 30 minutes

Address: 55, île Sainte-Marguerite, Boucherville, QC

Why You Need To Go: Montreal's closest national park is a collection of swampy islands in the Saint Lawrence River.

In addition to a number of trails and camping spots, Sépaq offers canoe, kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals.

Mont Mégantic

Distance from Montreal: Three hours

Address: 520, chemin de Franceville, Scotstown, QC (visitors centre)

Why You Need To Go: The Parc national du Mont-Mégantic is a famous stargazing spot.

Visitors can buy tickets for activities at the park's observatories and choose from a number of campsites and accommodations.

Venise-en-Québec

Distance from Montreal: One hour

Why You Need To Go: This regional tourist hotspot at the tip of Lake Champlain has public beaches, a market and an art gallery all surrounding the Baie de Venise, which hosts water sports and boating activities.

Mont du Dôme

Distance from Montreal: Four hours

Why You Need To Go: The at-times difficult trek to the summit is worth the effort.

Unfolding before successful hikers is a dramatic view south through rocky cliffs and tumbling mountains all the way to the Saint Lawrence River.

This entry is a bit farther from the metropolis for those looking to turn their spontaneous getaway into a weekend adventure.

Magog

Distance from Montreal: One hour and 20 minutes

Why You Need To Go: Another regional tourist spot, Magog has a lively downtown, hiking trails through the local Marais de la Rivière aux Cerises and, beginning in spring 2021, the new location of the super-popular Bleu Lavande lavender fields with their picturesque picnic spots.

Lachine Waterfront

Distance from downtown Montreal: 20 min (by car)

Why You Need To Go: A little closer to home in Montreal's very own borough of Lachine, visitors can spend the whole day picnicking in the expansive Parc René-Lévesque with its whimsical sculpture garden and views of the river.

Parc des chutes Dorwin

Distance from Montreal: One hour and 15 minutes

Address: 3102, 1re Avenue, Rawdon, QC

Why You Need To Go: Rawdon's Parc des chutes Dorwin includes lounging and picnic areas, and three kilometres of trails surrounding the centrepiece waterfall.